A vest probabaly made out of leather to protect the clothes, commonly seen in Landsknecht woodcuts.
After I made my first pair of socks (read more here), a friend posted pictures of a a pair of short linen socks found at Regensburg Historisches Museum in Germany. The design on these is more simple then my first guess, with what seems to be just two sets of pieces and I’ve finally got the chance to try it out.
1) The pattern is made about the same way as I made the first one; I taped my foot and draw the lines where I wanted the seam. I then cut it out in fabric and pinned it to my foot and adjusted it until it looked right. EDIT: I belive I over worked the pattern; the incut around the ankle can just be cut straight, the shape will come naturally when you roll the hem. (I’ll upload a new pattern example when my sewing room is unpacked after the move)
– the original is dated to 15th c, but I don’t have any information about the size of the sock so I can’t say if it’s male/female/social class etc
– There is a couple of woodcuts which shows a low cut sock off both trossfraus and peasants women, I haven’t had the opportunity to research if it was used by men as well, but it seems plausible.
– The inventory of the Swedish court in the early 16th c, mentions socks with lesser amount fabric than ordinary socks. No reference to whom it was intended for.
Petronilla of London (photograper of the original located in Regensburg Historisches Museum)
Cecilia Aneer, Skrädderi för kungligt bruk Tillverkning av kläder vid det svenska hovet ca 1600-1635, 2009
Rogg, M, Landsknechte und Reisläufer: Bilder vom Soldaten; ein stand in der Kunst des 16. jahrhunderts, 2002
An inventory in the Textiler Hausrat mention a fabric covered straw hat, and I decided to try the technique by doing a specific kind of Tellerbarret. First book of fashion also mention hats covered in fabric, but doesn’t give any clues of what the base might be made of. Probably not all hats of this type have a strawhat base, but since it’s cheap and availble I found it suitable for a campfollower.
How I made the hat;
1) Take a straw hat and mark and cut of the top. Don’t worry if the hole is too big, you’re going to add a layer of fabric, which will reduce the size some, and if you planning to wear it on top of some kind of head cloth, you kind of want it to be larger than your head.
2) measure the width of the brim and double the measurement and add seam allowance, this is the width. Measure the outer circumference of the straw hat, and this is the minimum length of the fabric. My straw hat was exactly the width of my fabric, which was nice.
Tip: wool rips really easy: just snip and rip in perfectly straight lines.
Mark the middle of the fabric and put in gatherings threads, mine is about 1/2 inch (2 cm) between. I choose to make two rows on each side of the middle, to ensure that the pleats would stay neat on both side of the brim. (Honestly, I remade my gathering threads six times before I settled for this kind. Do as you believe works best for you)
3) pull the gatherings thread carefully, you-do-not-want-them-to-brake! I used a thicker linen thread, it still broke, and I had to remake it. Fun times… Fold the fabric over the hat and place the gathered part along the inner hole. I then pulled and pinned the fabric evenly over the brim, making sure it was evenly stretched.
4) I made sure I’ve pinned all the way around on the brim and let go of the pins around the outer edge, so I could fold and whip stitched the two layers of fabric on the outer side, without loosing the even pleating.
6) I wasn’t able to find any leeds on how the top of a fabric covered Tellerbarret would look like, so instead I study several different other models of a wide flat type of hat around the same period, to get an idea what would be most plausible design. Here is three examples of the construction of the crown:
A) most tops seems very flat, some looks like they are made out of a cut out round circle, some like they’ve been shaped (felt? leather?) or possibly sewn out of several pieces. The design I chose is based on the first woodcut which seems to have a curve.
B) some hats seems to have some sort of butto- like decoration on the top.
C) I’ve noticed that a cord during this period, often seem to go through the brim and over the head.
7) a friends pattern of a hat crown seemed to be similar to the shape I was looking for; measure the base to be sure it will fill up the hole on your hat, don’t forget to take any seam allowance into the calculation. Cut out four, sew together.
9) add cords; when you look at the woodcut, the cords seems like they goes through/attached to the brim rather then the seam between the crown and brim, so I punched a hole through all the layers and pulled my cord through it.
10) …and the hat is finished to be decorated with feathers; I am still working on how to get the same look as the woodcut, I have some ideas I’ll experiment with and publish when I’m satisfied with the result.
Amount of work hours around 8-10 hours.
Things to work on:
When studying and compare my finished hat with the woodcut, a few things might need a tweak.
– thinner cord
– smaller straw hat; the size between head and edge is smaller then mine.
– more fabric? The woodcut shows more pleats, which is also smaller. Since I made the hat out of Melton wool, I would probably need to experiment with either a thinner wool or another type of fabric.
Zander-Siedel, Textiler Husrat: Kleidung und Haustextilien in Nürnberg Von 1500-1600. (English translation by Katerine Barich), 1990
Graf, Breünner, Jacob, Landsknecht Woodcuts: Kriegsvölker Im Zeitalter der Landsknechte (edited by M. McNealy), 2013
The first book of fashion: the book of Clothes of Matthäus and Veit Konrad Schwarz of Augsburg (Edited by Ulinka Rublack and Maria Hayward), 2015
Tece de Kaxtone, Drachenwald, http://tecedekaxtone.livejournal.com
The quick and dirty introduction of who’s who;
Until 1490 the Swiss were the superior warriors of Europe, and Swiss instructors was imported to tech German soldiers how to fight, forming a new group of mercenaries in Europe, the Landsknechts. The Landsknechts also copy the Swiss outfit and even added more slashes and flamboyant look to it.
The Landsknecht copying the Swiss fighting style and fashion wasn’t that popular among the Reisläufers and the lesser employment opportunities with a growing group of Landsknechts, made the two groups bitter rivals and enemies, especially since the Landsknecht didn’t care for who they fought for …as long as they were payed.
The woodcut below shows a rare view of a Landsknecht and a Reisläufer in the same woodcut, a symbol of a truce between the two groups during this period of wars raging back and forth through Europe.
The Landsknecht on the left has the distinct x slashing on his leg popularly interpret as the representing the cross of Saint Andrew and the Holy Roman Empire (Osprey). The Reisläufer’s chest and sleeve has a + slashing representing the Swiss Confederation.
Some artist painted several different kind of mercenaries, but most of them have their favorite kind of mercenary; Urs Graf (Swiss citizen and served as a mercenary during his lifetime) is more likely to paint Reisläufers rather then Landsknechts.
The Katzbalger was seen as the symbol for a Landsknecht. Katzbalger is the short sword seen of the left mercenary above.
Maybe you don’t want to wear your wool hat directly on your head, it can be itchy but it also makes the hat dirty with all that human sweat penetrating the hat for day after day. As a women it’s usually pretty simple, you just wrap a head floaty, where a haube or something else similar, depending on what kind of German class you belong to.
Lately several people have asked me for what a man properly should wear underneath his hat and it makes me so happy because I’ve tried once to convince my husband into wearing the awesome period caps you sometimes see in paintings, underneath his hat. He wasn’t as amused as I was, and to his defense, he more often puts on his Landsknecht outfit more to please me and make me happy …he definitely prefers early period clothing. So I let him wear his hat as he please, with either a Schlappe or a coif underneath, it’s not the end of the world.
But for those who might be a bit curious about what a guy can wear underneath a hat, I present the cap, a neat little haube for men and i only have seen it being worn once so far and it made me excited to see that little cap on this guy (thank you Sir Måns!), because paying attention to details is such a satisfying feature and I applause all those who do it.
Here is a small sample of different caps worn by men in Germany during the 16th century, and maybe I make one and just hope I’ll someday may convince my husband to wear it.
Read more about how I made the sleeves here
The person who commissioned me for this had one only one request “make it fancier then your husbands”, so I could basically pick and choose any style I wanted to sew.
The outfit is based on two different woodcut, and I have been eyeballing an awesome wams with incredible amount of slashed sleeves and back (left picture) for a while and decides that it would be perfect for the hot Californian weather due to the large amount of slashes, and that the slashing pattern on the wams would provide the wearer with a lot of movement (I also expect him to get stuck, slashes love getting stuck in all kind of stuff), making it comfortable to wear.
The hosen on this woodcut was though a bit plain (…and my husbands hosen is pretty fancy), so I looked around for any other plausible near-to-year woodcuts, and during a discussion with the person for whom this outfit is made for, he said that he really admired the black/white checkered pants I made a couple of months ago for another guy and we decided to use that for one of the legs (and it also matched his device). The other leg took a while for me to find, it had to be fancy, but I was also interested to try the concept of long striped leg construction, and when I found the other woodcut, it also had diagonal slashes which, by my calculation, would provide him with some breeze and extra movement. On the same woodcut as the one with the striped leg, one of the other Landsknecht was wearing a wams with a striped slashed front flap. Perfect, now the wams and the hosen would be smoothly incorporated with each other!
The picture above shows an intricate slashing of a wams, seen from behind, the sleeves has a very interesting shape with the same width from shoulder and down until it gathers around the wrist, creating an image of a pair of almost rectangular constructed sleeves.
The late 16th c pattern from Germany (also translated to English by C. Köhler in A History of Costumes), seems like a perfect shape to use to achieve the same look as the woodcut, including a very easy base to cut the long slashes. The even width of the slashes from shoulder to wrist is also a good inclination that the pattern is a good base to be used …and a picture of my re-calculation to fit my reproduction.
The fabric slashed in a similar pattern as the woodcut, including cutting it into three separate pieces. It’s hard to say exactly how many slashes the woodcut sleeve have, and I might have made a bit few, but I didn’t want to make the sleeve even larger until I get an idea how the pattern would work in real life; the sleeve still has to be both practical and elegant.
Each slash is then hemmed, which of course isn’t a must, but the wearer was very specific of having an extraordinary flamboyant outfit, so I hemmed all slashes to make it look as neat as possible. The hemming is done with simple running and wip stitches, and all pieces is then ironed flat.
You can see on the woodcut that each sleeve piece has a slashed decor on the edge, which I simply make by ripping around 1″ wide fabric pieces, double fold them and then slash them an inch apart. The job of hemming this small slashes is way to time consuming, so I leave them as they are.
Silk is a very nice fabric to work with, it’s light weight and more dirt resistant then linen, and only slightly more expensive. Silk also wrinkles less then linen, and the light weight of the fabric can be gather into incredible small areas, with out adding any particular bulkyness. It’s not unlikely to assume silk was used for garment used by Landsknechts, but it’s probably more likely used by officers, high payed soldiers or high class associates rather then the ordinary foot soldier. Linen fabric was probably much more common, or maybe it’s just your undershirt that is seen through the slashes since you can’t afford no other expenses.
When I calculate how much puffing I need I use at least length x 1,5 for silk, it gives the puffing a basic nice symmetrical look, this sleeves got a little extra length to give them even more flamboyant look. This sleeves is not to be lined, to keep them as cool as possible for the California summer by letting air in through the slashes, the silk is therefore sewed onto the sleeves close to the edge, the edges is then folded over and then just wipstitched, to preventing the silk fraying.
The pieces seems to be attached with cords, so each part is given four pair of holes on each side.
Each sleeve is hold together by 12 cords with aiglets
in a woodcut the cords is almost always seen tied with a single loop, and
On this specific woodcut, you can almost make out the loops holding the sleeve-pieces together.
Even though Urs Graf mostly painted Swiss soldiers, the garment is similar enough to be used for construction studies and Graf’s level of details and everyday poses provides us with valuable as well as the simple fact that the German Landsknechts also was inspired by the Swiss Reisläufers. The single loop cord is of course also seen in other German garment as in Albrecht Von Brandeburgens’s elaborated garment.
Each sleeves three pieces is attached to each other with the points
And the full sleeve;
The full outfit can be seen here